Wow, 10 days since my last post. Oops, sorry. We have been really busy over the last week or so and in addition I put my back out again which really put a spanner in the works. And what with the pollen count being so high I have been really, really, well, knackered - to be blunt.
What have we done....... Hmmm. Well, the first thing was that I got the dates wrong for DH coming home but the extra week has gone quickly and he will be back on Wednesday inshaAllah - gave me some breathing space for getting the house clean (things have been very relaxed on the cooking & cleaning front since he's been away) but the kids were really disappointed.
We have had a relaxing week learning wise but not much 'written' work has gone on. The boys are 'realising' lots of things about times tables that they just come out with now and again which completely amazes. The boys have been swimming again and are doing very well mashaAllah, A even swam the whole 5 meters with his head under the water. The boys have also had a friend stay over for a couple of nights which has kept them occupied.
We also have also had a friend come over with her boy to play mashaAllah, she spent some time helping me 'cos of my dodgy back and today we went to do something for her and her family. This same friend is also moving house and of her new Muslim neighbours one offered to let her use his van and others helped her move furniture mashaAllah. In comparison I was in a supermarket car park recently and all the while I was parking my car and walking to the front of the store there was an old man sitting at the rear of his car on a walking frame. He obviously needed help but everyone was walking past him. I stopped to help him and he was so happy, a lovely old chap that felt he was being a burden and didn't like to ask for help.
It made me think, we are is so much of a rush to get everywhere and do everything that we are making our elders feel like a burden instead of embracing their knowledge and selflessness, we are not making time to carry out simple acts of human kindness that can make so much difference. We are all so caught up in consumerism and 'life' that we are forgetting our purpose for being here. Alhamdulillah, that we are all a part of this deen and part of this huge family that are there to help and support each other at all times inshaAllah. But let us also remember that the non Muslims also have a right over us and that helping, giving gifts/food etc, or even greeting the non Muslims in an open and kind manner is a good way of giving dawah. Allah guide all of us, Ameen.
Back to home schooling eh! Well, our caterpillars arrived at the back end of last week and they are doubling in size by the day mashaAllah. I can't wait for them to get ready to pupate.... but the kids don't seem too interested at the moment but I don't suppose caterpillars are very exciting to look at!
On a sad note, our oldest Triop died. The kids were very sad for a few seconds and the fought over who was going to flush it unceremoniously down the loo! The rest of the residents of our 'mini nature reserve' are doing well though and even the cress and grass is flourishing.
We also had a field trip to Brocks Hill Country Park. MashaAllah it's a beautiful park with lots to do and it even has an 'eco house'; built and run in a totally evironmentally friendly way. We met with our HE friends at about 12pm and the kids had a look at the pond and run up and down the hills and then we had some lunch. After lunch we did an orienteering course from a pack purchased at the Visitors Center, where the kids got to use some of the skills they have learned over the last few weeks during our geography sessions. They did get us lost, in a minor way, just once which was only tiresome because it was sooooo hot. We then made our way back to the center to meet up with Karen, our Ranger, who conducted the pond dipping course. The kids just loved it mashaAllah, and collected lots of stuff that they were not afraid to pick up and examine (much to the mums dismay!). They collected lots of stuff, even a few the ranger got excited about, and asked lots of good questions mashaAllah (I think it was a thumbs up for HE's on this trip). I can however state that a day in a country park can be a complete nightmare for hayfever sufferers. Be warned.